Original Cast

Closer to Heaven

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AllMusic Review by

The Pet Shop Boys' collaboration with playwright Jonathan Harvey for Closer to Heaven was a smashing success among the West End in 2001 and a delight for fans around the world. The original cast recording matched the musical's campy appeal and made the Pet Shop Boys accessible again, but on a theatrical scope that's chased their sound for decades. Closer to Heaven is vibrant and brash with lush pop decadence, but also a brazen tale of sex and drugs. What's more inviting is how the overall soundscape is uninhibited. Billie Trix, who's played by Frances Barber, is a vocal vixen. "My Night" is an infectious disco romp, but she sets the mood with the angelically sassy "Friendly Fire." The Pet Shop Boys' own "Vampires" and "Closer to Heaven" from 1999's Nightlife are recast; however, the sheer duet between characters Vic and Shell on "In Denial" shimmies with Hi-NRG breakbeats for something cheeky, yet sensitive. Closer to Heaven complements what's happened before and what's yet to come from the Pet Shop Boys. Fans should be pleased with the music, for it's all made for a stage. Whether it's dancing or theatrics, the Pet Shop Boys are taken by the excitement as well.

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